The eukaryotic ubiquitin system is a key regulator in innate immune signalling, including the detection and clearance of intracellular pathogens like Salmonella and Toxoplasma. This project utilises the combined expertise of the Lechtenberg lab (E3 ubiquitin ligases, biochemistry, structural biology) and the Tonkin lab (Toxoplasma infection models, imaging) to investigate how the human host cell combats Toxoplasma infections.
The project is set at the interface of infection biology and ubiquitin signalling and will focus on identifying and characterising host E3 ubiquitin ligases that restrict Toxoplasma infection. Students will have the opportunity to learn and implement a broad set of cellular and protein biochemical techniques including cellular infection models, confocal imaging, flow cytometry, proteomics, recombinant protein expression and purification, biochemical assays, and structural biology.
The Lechtenberg lab investigates the structure and function of E3 ubiquitin ligases and their roles in human physiology and disease. We aim to provide the molecular basis for E3 activity and regulation and transfer these insights to the function of the E3s within their cellular signalling network. We apply structural (crystallography, cryo-EM), biophysical, biochemical and cell biological methods and utilise the specialised techniques available in the Ubiquitin Signalling Division.